Pepper Plant Disease


Pepper plants (Capscicum) are herbaceous perennials of the Solanaceae family. Among the many different species of pepper plants are bell, hot, sweet and ornamental varieties. Pepper plants are subject to a variety of fungal, bacterial and viral diseases.

Fungal Diseases

Pepper plants are highly susceptible to anthracnose (Colletotrichum), which is also called ripe fruit disease. Phytophthora blight (Phytophthora capsici) often attacks pepper plants growing in wet, warm climates.


Anthracnose causes water-soaked lesions that turn brown and soft as the disease ages. Phytophthora blight causes general wilt as well as dark green, water-soaked lesions on the affected stems.

Bacterial Diseases

Bacterial wilt disease (Ralstonia solanacearum) and bacterial spot disease (Xanthomonas campestris) occasionally attack pepper plants in warm, wet regions.


Bacterial wilt disease causes wilted pepper plant leaves and brown discolorations in the lower stem. Bacterial spot disease turns the upper leaf surfaces brown and greasy.

Viral Diseases

Bell and hot pepper plants are prone to the pepper mild mottle virus, which causes leaf mottling and stunted plant growth. The cucumber mosaic virus causes ring spots to form on the affected leaves.

Other Problems

Blossom-end rot, the result of calcium deficiency, turns pepper plant leaves yellow or brown. Pepper plants are also vulnerable to attacks from various pests, including pepper thrips, armyworms, cutworms and aphids.


  • Univeristy of Florida--Anthracnose
  • University of Florida--Blossom-End Rot
  • University of Florida--Bell Pepper Pests

Who Can Help

  • Pepper Mild Mottle Virus
  • Pepper Diseases
  • Virus Diseases of Pepper
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About this Author

Cat Carson has been a writer, editor and researcher for the past decade. She has professional experience in a variety of media, including the Internet, newspapers, newsletters and magazines. Her work has appeared on websites like and, among others. Carson holds a master’s degrees in writing and cultural anthropology, and is currently working on her doctoral degree in psychology.